THE FIRM (2009)

1hr 30mins
Dir: Nick Love
Starring: Calum MacNab and Camille Coduri

Football hooligans don casual gear and organise themselves into ‘firms’

This hooligan drama is based on Alan Clarke’s made-for-television version of 1989, which has been included on this website for completeness, but this version of The Firm was in no way equal to the original. Overall it is a poor spectacle, but it has to try to fill a void in the already saturated market for football violence and does its best under the circumstances. A 1980s journey by train from Waterloo to Portsmouth takes place onboard a rake of blue & grey Mk.2’s, with Victoria standing in for Waterloo, and Salisbury standing in for Portsmouth & Southsea! Despite these inconsistencies we are treated to a rather fine shot of the train arriving into Salisbury in the hands of a West Coast-liveried Class 47. If you look really carefully through the windows of the train after it has arrived, ‘modern’ South West Trains’ Class 158/159 DMU’s can be seen. There is an additional shot of a District Line train of London Underground D stock passing through Bow, and a fight scene at the end that was filmed at King’s Cross St. Pancras Underground station.

A train of blue & grey Mark 2 ‘air-cons’ stands in the platform at London Victoria
The train arrives into Salisbury behind a West Coast Railway Co. Class 47 (the position of the shed plate to the left of the high-intensity headlight suggests that this may be 47804). Note the spurious Portsmouth & Southsea station sign.
The train has now come to a stand in Salisbury’s platform 4. The livery may be authentic for the 1980s, but the central door locking certainly is not!!
As the casual firm leaves the train, one carriage’s identity is revealed to be No.6008, a Mark 2F TSO
The red cab end of a South West Trains DMU is ‘accidentally’ visible through the carriage window behind Calum MacNab
This external view from the carriage window is seen later on, as part of the return journey back to London. This is looking back towards the reat of the train, where there appears to be another locomotive – assuming of course that the footage has not inexplicably been reversed.
This is a view taken from Ivy Point, Bow, E3, and a remarkably similar view appeared in The Football Factory, another hooligan film. The train of London Transport D stock is forming a District Line service.
This is the former Thameslink concourse and entrance to King’s Cross St Pancras off the Pentonville Road. The distinctive and hugely iconic wall mosaic by Badry Mostafa predates even Thameslink, having originally been unveiled for the Midland Electrics in 1983!
A closer view of the wall art
Calum MacNab at the top of a flight of stairs at King’s Cross St Pancras